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Early Vote Count Low in Linn Co.

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -- Early voting is well underway for the city elections in Linn County, but auditor Joel Miller said he's concerned that not enough people are casting ballots.

Instead of walking into the Public Service building to vote early or mailing in their absentee ballots, Miller said he thinks voters might be keeping a tight grip on their ballots in order to make a more informed choice.

But he wants to make sure people are taking advantage of early voting, like Al and Joanne Eastin did.

"We're going to be out of town on the 5th of November, so we thought: better come out, before we forget," said Al Eastin.

But Miller isn't worried about people like the Eastins. It's the folks who aren't here that concern him.

"Well, the turnout looks poor," he said.

There have been only 687 absentee ballots requested as of Thursday afternoon, and fewer than half, only 319 of them, have been returned, Miller said. With those numbers, turnout might not even hit 20 percent -- the low-end for a city election -- unless people come out to vote on election day.

"Well, I hope so, certainly, they better," Miller said.

Miller is also concerned because there are some contested races on the ballot, as well as the local option sales tax.

"They're going to pay it. Sooner or later, they're going to pay it. You can't avoid it, so why not participate in the decision of whether we have it or we don't have it, instead of sitting on the sidelines and complaining about it?" Miller said.

The tax is what brought the Eastins out, and it's why they think everyone else should cast a ballot, too.

"I think it's a very necessary thing. Everybody pays their share," Al Eastin said about the tax.

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